Norman Sylvester Band to Benefit Shepherd Legal Scholarship

Norman “The Boogie Cat” Sylvester brings his award-winning brand of blues to A Class Act, the 18th annual benefit for the Bill & Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund of Equity Foundation, on Friday, April 27th, at The Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave.    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 curtain.  The reception following 50 non-stop minutes of true soul and funk showcases sinful savories and decadent desserts from some of Portland’s finest bakeries, including DeLightful, DeLovely, DeLicious; Piece of Cake; Cupcake Jones and Doug Ramsay/Brad Smith. 

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door, and are available online at  To purchase a pew seating 10 for $350 or for more information, call 503-286-1752.  A Class Act highlights are now on Facebook.

Shepherd Scholars, beneficiaries of the benefit, are 3rd and 4th year law students dedicated to donating their legal expertise to fighting bigotry and discrimination, particularly in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity.  

Synonymous with the birth and rapid early growth of the gay/lesbian/ trans-sexual civil rights movement in Oregon, the late Bill and Ann Shepherd, parents of lesbian daughters and a transgendered son, defied countless death threats in the mid-1970’s to co-found what would become the first chapter in Oregon of the International Federation of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – PFLAG.  PFLAG provides educational and emotional support to individuals in distress about the coming out process.  Bill practiced law for over 56 years in Oregon; his career was a continuum of service to the Oregon State Bar, fledgling law students and civil liberties causes.  Ann was a newspaper reporter-turned mother of five, dubbed “Queen Mother” by Just Out, Oregon’s premiere newspaper which served the sexual minorities communities for over three decades.  Bill and Ann’s passion for justice continues to be reflected in their belief that only through education do people exchange their bigotry for a heart of love and acceptance.  This year’s sponsors are Beth Allen Law; Bridgetown Realty; DeLightful, DeLovely, Delicious;; OGALLA, Pride Financial Partners; and Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt.